Forgive us, regular readers, for once again attempting to drive home the point that door-to-door salespeople and outwardly welcoming neighborhood “greeters” may have ulterior motives, but here we go again.
Today’s lesson comes courtesy of some wise neighbors and police officers in Lafayette.
We are frequently tipped about “suspicious cars” cruising local neighborhoods and Thursday was no exception as a steady succession of suspicious locals took a moment to notify police of a dark sedan cruising slowly through the Carol Lane, Windsor Drive and Raintree neighborhoods – the car loaded with packages and the occupants looking at specific homes.
Officers responded and stopped the car, speaking with the male and female occupants – who said they were working for a coupon delivery service that had provided them with a list of new homeowners in the neighborhoods and was paying them to deliver packages of coupons.
All well and good, except a standard computer check determined the male half of the duo had an active arrest warrant – for burglary. He was taken into custody without incident but the irony of the situation was not lost on law enforcement.
“A business gave a burglar (with an active warrant for his arrest) a listing of homes to visit, asking them to go to doors and see if the residents were at home,” officers wrote in an information bulletin released after the arrest. “We will be contacting the advertisers who used the service to advise them of how their discount coupons were being delivered.”
Thursdays incident follows a recent uptick in the number of un-permitted solicitors returning to neighborhood streets, going door-to-door and asking for money or checks for everything from school field trips (which do not exist) to new solar systems.
Recently, officers responded to a report of a solicitor and located him in the neighborhood. He did not have a solicitor permit and a records check showed he was on State Parole for armed robbery. Several solicitors contacted by local police have had outstanding non-extraditable warrants from Mid-western States (because they are trucked here and released into “affluent” looking neighborhoods.
Police say they have seen a correlation between the arrival of un-permitted solicitors and a rise in crime.
Legitimate canvassers, solicitors will have city permits issued by the police department.